Joshua Ham — a quintessential part of the Yale experience for many students — announced via Facebook post that he was leaving his longtime position at Good Nature Market, colloquially known as GHeav, in late April 2019.
His involvement in students’ lives led to Ham becoming a beloved figure for many on campus. His announcement was met with heartbreak and an outpouring of support — to date, his post has garnered upwards of 1,800 likes and 328 comments, many from students recalling fond memories with Ham.
In his post, Ham wrote that “everyone has a few choices … in their lives,” so he is “going to leave … [the market] where [he has] worked for seven years to try [his] other future.” Ham told the News that he was moving to New Hyde Park, New York, where he bought a bagel shop called Bagel Haus. He planned to run the shop with his family.
In 2001, Ham immigrated to the United States from South Korea, and for seven years manned the cash register at GHeav. He often worked late into the night, especially on chaotic weekends, encountering countless students who frequented the market after parties and other social events.
Many students expressed sadness at Ham’s departure, mourning the loss of a friendly face at one of New Haven’s most popular delis.
“Josh was a staple presence in the lives of what I feel like must be almost every Yalie’s college experience,” Luke McKenna ’21 said.
Ham was an avid fan of University sports, frequently attending Division I home games. He was often seen sporting a Yale cap.
He supported student-athletes in many sports, including women’s hockey, gymnastics and fencing, and often posed for photos with teams.
“Josh is one of those people that you’re always excited to see because he instantly brightens your day,” said McKenzie Cooke ’21, a member of the volleyball team. “He has been one of Yale volleyball’s biggest supporters — coming to all our home games and even proudly displaying his autographed copy of the team poster behind the GHeav counter.”
Although Ham no longer works at GHeav, his Facebook page reflects an occasional presence at University events. Last May, several members of the class of 2019 posted photos on his timeline of him posing with students at Commencement, in addition to several late-night selfies at the deli.
Ham also attended last November’s eventful Yale-Harvard football game, held in New Haven, during which protestors stormed the field at halftime to call for divestment and Yale overcame a staggering deficit to beat Harvard in double overtime. Several days later, on Thanksgiving, he posted a photo collage with pictures from the Game and other Yale memories, reminiscing on his time in New Haven.
“Looking back on my life, it was happy and thankful when I was [at] Yale,” Ham wrote. “I miss you so much and thank you!”
Good Nature Market is located at 15 Broadway St.
Olivia Tucker | email@example.com